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Why nobody in Humboldt County should be buying Yelp ads

In my agency work, I buy just about every form of media imaginable in Humboldt County. As more and more customers shift their leisure time online, more and more businesses are starting to move their ad campaigns to the web.



Enter Yelp. One of the most popular business review sites on the planet, Yelp has some amazing qualities for businesses. If you own a business, you absolutely should take control of your Yelp page and keep engaged with it. According to Yelp’s own statistics, managing your Yelp page will add $8,000 in revenue to a typical business a year. Across all categories, I believe it.

Unfortunately, Yelp has decided to monetize their site by selling “impressions” here in Humboldt. Right now, the plans they are offering me for my local clients range in price from $300 to $2200 a month. Let’s delve into the math just a little bit (stay with me!):


The average Yelp category in Humboldt County has 1500 searches per month. For $300, Yelp will set you up with a slideshow on your page, and a few highlighted ads on competitors pages.

Yelp is promising 600 impressions for your ads per month. That’s $0.50 per view (not even per person, as people often check a review several times.)

The typical cost online for one view? About 1/2 of a penny. Yelp is charging 100x the going rate for ads.

Worse, these ads aren’t exclusive, as detailed here.

Unless they change their pricing policies or what they deliver to clients greatly improve, I urge you not to buy the current Yelp advertising plans.


Yelp is a great review site, a wonderful resource for business owners, and a very, very bad buy for Humboldt County business owners in it’s current iteration.